HCN News & Notes

AMA Commends FDA’s New Blood-donation Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is relaxing a 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. The FDA announced that it will replace a lifetime prohibition with a new policy that will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood, but only if they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least one year.

In 1983, the FDA banned gay and bisexual men from ever being eligible to donate blood to protect people receiving blood transfusions from the possibility of getting infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.

“The American Medical Association commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ending the lifetime ban that prohibits men who have had sex with men from donating blood,” said Dr. president-elect of the AMA.

“The AMA has been a strong advocate for eliminating public policies that do not align with scientific evidence and best ethical practices in public policy,” he added. “The FDA’s final guidance takes important steps to improve the balance among ensuring health equity, engaging with high-risk populations, and protecting the safety of the national blood supply.”